Archive for June, 2010

We have ordained that our Cause be taught through the power of utterance

Guidance from the Universal House of Justice provided a reminder and focus for the Bahá’ís gathered at their latest meeting as they discussed their recent efforts to bring spiritual community to their neighbors and planned their next county campaign.

The Bahá’ís of Pierce County are working together to begin another intensive effort to locate those souls in our community who want to shed the lethargy imposed on them by society and are interested in working with us to create a spiritual community that includes childrens classes, youth activities, study classes, and devotional meetings. We go forward with the knowledge, confidence, and assurance from Bahá’u’lláh that our sustained efforts in the cause of God undertaken with purity of motive will be successful. Saturday, June 26th, we met in the Salishan neighborhood of east Tacoma.  Children’s classes have been held in this culturally diverse neighborhood for several months with as many as thirty participants.

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven” means also that by the diffusion of the divine teachings, the appearance of these heavenly mysteries, and the rising of the Sun of Reality, the doors of success and prosperity will be opened in all directions, and the signs of goodness and heavenly benedictions will be made plain.
 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, commenting on Rev. 11:19


Say: We have ordained that our Cause be taught through the power of utterance. Beware lest ye dispute idly with anyone. Whoso ariseth wholly for the sake of his Lord to teach His Cause, the Holy Spirit shall strengthen him and inspire him with that which will illumine the heart of the world, how much more the hearts of those who seek Him. O people of Bahá! Subdue the citadels of men’s hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer then with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward.  Bahá’u’lláh

Say: Blessed the slumberer who is awakened by My Breeze. Blessed the lifeless one who is quickened through My reviving breaths. Blessed the eye that is solaced by gazing at My beauty. Blessed the wayfarer who directeth his steps towards the Tabernacle of My glory and majesty. Blessed the distressed one who seeketh refuge beneath the shadow of My canopy. Blessed the sore athirst who hasteneth to the soft-flowing waters of My loving-kindness. Blessed the insatiate soul who casteth away his selfish desires for love of Me and taketh his place at the banquet table which I have sent down from the heaven of divine bounty for My chosen ones. Blessed the abased one who layeth fast hold on the cord of My glory; and the needy one who entereth beneath the shadow of the Tabernacle of My wealth. Blessed the ignorant one who seeketh the fountain of My knowledge; and the heedless one who cleaveth to the cord of My remembrance. Blessed the soul that hath been raised to life through My quickening breath and hath gained admittance into My heavenly Kingdom. Blessed the man whom the sweet savours of reunion with Me have stirred and caused to draw nigh unto the Dayspring of My Revelation. Blessed the ear that hath heard  and the tongue that hath borne witness and the eye that hath seen and recognized the Lord Himself, in His great glory and majesty, invested with grandeur and dominion. Blessed are they that have attained His presence. Blessed the man who hath sought enlightenment from the Day-Star of My Word. Blessed he who hath attired his head with the diadem of My love. Blessed is he who hath heard of My grief and hath arisen to aid Me among My people. Blessed is he who hath laid down his life in My path and hath borne manifold hardships for the sake of My Name. Blessed the man who, assured of My Word, hath arisen from among the dead to celebrate My praise. Blessed is he that hath been enraptured by My wondrous melodies and hath rent the veils asunder through the potency of My might. Blessed is he who hath remained faithful to My Covenant, and whom the things of the world have not kept back from attaining My Court of holiness. Blessed is the man who hath detached himself from all else but Me, hath soared in the atmosphere of My love, hath gained admittance into My Kingdom, gazed upon My realms of glory, quaffed the living waters of My bounty, hath drunk his fill from the heavenly river of My loving providence, acquainted himself with My Cause, apprehended that which I concealed within the treasury of My Words, and hath shone forth from the horizon of divine knowledge engaged in My praise and glorification. Verily, he is of Me. Upon him rest My mercy, My loving-kindness, My bounty and My glory.   


The power of human utterance

The Hands of the Cause of God on April 22, 1963, after announcing the first election of the Universal House of Justice. Photo courtesy of Médiathèque bahaie at

Human utterance is an essence which aspireth to exert its influence and needeth moderation. As to its influence, this is conditional upon refinement, which in turn is dependent upon hearts which are detached and pure. As to its moderation, this hath to be combined with tact and wisdom as prescribed in the Holy Scriptures and Tablets.

… Utterance must needs possess penetrating power. For if bereft of this quality it would fail to exert influence. And this penetrating influence dependeth on the spirit being pure and the heart stainless. Likewise it needeth moderation, without which the hearer would be unable to bear it, rather he would manifest opposition from the very outset. And moderation will be obtained by blending utterance with the tokens of divine wisdom which are recorded in the sacred Books and Tablets. Thus when the essence of one’s utterance is endowed with these two requisites it will prove highly effective and will be the prime factor in transforming the souls of men. This is the station of supreme victory and celestial dominion. Whoso attaineth thereto is invested with the power to teach the Cause of God and to prevail over the hearts and minds of men.



Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch

Photo courtesy of Médiathèque baha’ie at

The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Daystar of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The One true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.

Exert yourselves that ye may attain this transcendent and most sublime station, the station that can insure the protection and security of all mankind. This goal excelleth every other goal, and this aspiration is the monarch of all aspirations. So long, however, as the thick clouds of oppression, which obscure the daystar of justice, remain undispelled, it would  be difficult for the glory of this station to be unveiled to men’s eyes. These thick clouds are the exponents of idle fancies and vain imaginings, who are none other but the divines of Persia. At one time We spoke in the language of the lawgiver; at another in that of the truth-seeker and the mystic, and yet Our supreme purpose and highest wish hath always been to disclose the glory and sublimity of this station. God, verily, is a sufficient witness!

Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and goodwill. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.


Aid me to adore Thee, strengthen my loins to serve Thee


This week marks the twenty-seventh anniversary of the execution of ten devoted Handmaidens of the Lord who were put to death by the current regime of religious leaders ruling Iran. Their principle crime was conducting Bahá’í children’s classes. They were hung in Shiraz on June 18th, 1983. Here is a prayer by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in honor of the many Bahá’ís, and their families, who have served their Lord with the last full measure of devotion.

He is God!

O Lord my God!  O Thou Helper of the feeble, Succorer of the poor and Deliverer of the helpless who turn unto Thee.

With utmost lowliness I raise my suppliant hands to Thy kingdom of beauty and fervently call upon Thee with my inner tongue, saying:  O God, my God!  Aid me to adore Thee, strengthen my loins to serve Thee; assist me by Thy grace in my servitude to Thee; suffer me to remain steadfast in my obedience to Thee; pour forth upon me the liberal effusions of Thy bounty, let the glances of the eye of Thy loving-kindness be directed towards me, and immerse me in the ocean of Thy forgiveness.  Grant that I may be confirmed in my allegiance to Thy Faith, and bestow upon me a fuller measure of certitude and assurance, that I may wholly dispense with the world, may turn my face with entire devotion towards Thy face, be reinforced by the compelling power of proofs and testimonies, and, invested with majesty and power, may pass beyond every region of heaven and earth.  Verily Thou art the Merciful, the All-Glorious, the Kind, the Compassionate.

O Lord!  These are the survivors of the martyrs, that company of blessed souls.  They have sustained every tribulation and displayed patience in the face of grievous injustice.  They have forsaken all comfort and prosperity, have willingly submitted to dire suffering and adversity in the path of Thy love, and are still held captive in the clutches of their enemies who continually torment them with sore torment, and oppress them because they walk steadfastly in Thy straight path.  There is no one to help them, no one to befriend them.  Apart from the ignoble and the wicked, there is no one to associate and consort with them.

O Lord!  These souls have tasted bitter agony in this earthly life and have, as a sign of their love for the shining beauty of Thy countenance and in their eagerness to attain Thy celestial kingdom, tolerated every gross indignity that the people of tyranny have inflicted upon them.

O Lord!  Fill their ears with the verses of divine assistance and of a speedy victory, and deliver them from the oppression of such as wield terrible might.  Withhold the hands of the wicked and leave not these souls to be torn by the claws and teeth of fierce beasts, for they are captivated by their love for Thee, entrusted with the mysteries of Thy holiness, stand humbly at Thy door and have attained to Thine exalted precinct.

O Lord!  Graciously reinforce them with a new spirit; illumine their eyes by enabling them to behold Thy wondrous evidences in the gloom of night; destine for them all good that aboundeth in Thy Kingdom of eternal mysteries; make them as brilliant stars shining over all regions, luxuriant trees laden with fruit and branches moving in the breezes of dawn.

Verily, Thou art the Bountiful,the Mighty, the Omnipotent, the Unconstrained.  There is none other God but Thee, the God of love and tender mercy, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving.



Courtesy of Bahá’í Prayers at

Photograph by John Keith Slone

Truth stands out clear from error


Zarrin Muqimi-Abyanih, one of 10 Bahá’í women executed in Shiraz on 18 June 1983. The primary charge against her: teaching Bahá’í children’s classes. Reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community at .

Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the Evil Ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (for ever).

The Qur’an (2: 256 & 257)


Zarrin Muqimi-Abyanih was one of ten Bahá’í women hung on June 18, 1983 in Shiraz by the current regime of religious leaders ruling Iran. Their principle crime was teaching children’s classes. Here is a loving tribute in her memory. 

Courtesy of Bahá’í Reaching and Teaching at

No unbiased mind can fail to see who represents truth and who is in error and has grasped evil. Any fair-minded person can see who has walked into the light and who is a patron of the Evil Ones and is walking into the depths of darkness. God hears and knows all things.

Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.

The Qur’an (16: 90)

Courage and shame in Iran


Muna Mahmudnizhad, 17, was one of 10 Bahá’í women executed in Shiraz on 18 June 1983. The primary charge against her: teaching Bahá’í children’s classes. Reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community  at


“Let there be no compulsion in religion.”   Qur’án (2:256)


I beseech Thee, O my God, by the light of Thy countenance which impelled them who are nigh unto Thee to meet the darts of Thy decree, and such as are devoted to Thee to face the swords of Thine enemies in Thy path, to write down for me with Thy most exalted Pen what Thou hast written down for Thy trusted ones and Thy chosen ones. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.



June 18th may one day be a national holiday in Iran to honor religious freedom, courage, and devotion to God. Today, though, this is Iran’s national week of shame, the anniversary week of that date in 1983 when ten steadfast and courageous Bahá’í women were hung in Shiraz by the current regime for teaching children’s classes. It was but one episode of a waive of bloodletting against the Bahá’ís carried out by a fanatical clergy that had finally accomplished its long-cherished goal of establishing itself as the secular power in that country.  A clearer proof that those today in power in Iran have strayed very far from the Qur’an and the true purpose of religion can scarcely be imagined.

The Bahá’í youth of Shiraz have beautifully performed one of Bahá’u’lláh’s prayers, which can be viewed through the link below. This powerful prayer is chanted in the original Arabic with musical accompaniment, and with English translation shown in front of changing images.   It’s melodious and rhythmic pattern, together with its length (20 minutes) allows the viewer to relax and meditate and infuse one’s soul with the Lord’s matchless utterance. It is a fasting prayer, but its words and message, so beautifully rendered, are for any time of year. The passage quoted above is from that prayer.